sport

Algeria v Russia preview

Yacine Brahimi believes attacking football is the way to a place in the last 16 of the World Cup when Algeria on Russia (Thursday 9pm).

 

The African nation face Russia in the final round of matches in Group H knowing victory will put them through to the knockout phase for the first time in their history, although a draw could well be enough providing South Korea do not produce an upset against the already-qualified Belgium.

Algeria's last outing saw them dispatch Korea 4-2, having raced into a 3-0 half-time lead.

"We played some very attacking football and we need to repeat that against Russia," said Granada midfielder Brahimi, a goalscorer in that game.

"It won't be easy but it wasn't easy (against Korea) either and that didn't stop us from keeping our calm and playing some good football."

Captain Madjid Bougherra led his country to their first World Cup victory in 32 years but does not want the experience to end there.

"It's a great honour for me to make Algerian footballing history as part of this very close-knit squad who put in an exceptional performance," he told FIFA.com.

"We learned the lessons from our first match (a 2-1 defeat where Belgium came from behind to score twice in the last 20 minutes).

"The most important thing is for us to play our own game and also play to our strengths.

"We now have a chance to make it through to the round of 16 but we need to forget about the victory over Korea first and get our feet back on the ground."

Russia go into the match in Curitiba knowing nothing else than a win will do, although to guarantee their place in the last 16 they would have to match any victory Korea achieved.

Conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Belgium has put them in real danger of going home early but full-back Aleksei Kozlov insists they are focused on the game against Algeria.

"We were all disappointed about what happened late on but we've still got a chance of continuing in the tournament," the defender said.

"While that's the case we can't start thinking about anything else."